Seven Things You Must Know Before Visiting Dooars

Ever since I moved to North Bengal I have heard a lot about Dooars. Especially nowadays Shahrukh Khan adding all the 'oomph' to West Bengal Tourism campaign, people are more likely to feel intrigued to visit the 'sweetest part of India'. As a residence of the state my whole life I can give you one statutory warning. Do proceed with caution. Too much sweet can make you fat and diabetic.

Bottom-line? West Bengal tourism is damn ovverrated. There's nothing in Bengal that you wouldn't find a better version of elsewhere. And Dooars is no exception. Period. As for SRK, that dude can do literally anything for money.

Still hellbent on having a taste of that unexplored 'sweet dish'? Here are the seven things you must keep in mind before hopping on that journey into the wild.

1. It's a goddamn village

The word 'dooars' originated from the word 'duaar' or doorway. Because it's the gateway into the hills of Bhutan and the rest of the north-east of India. Dooars is the foothill of the eastern Himalayas. It comes under the districts of Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar, and Kalimpong. And yes, it is mostly a rural area. The inhabitants consist of several local tribes like santals, rajbangshi etc. They are generally nice, warm people but do not expect a lot professionalism. Even the restaurants offer food on pre-order basis. If you are a young, attractive woman, and actually wear nice clothes then be ready for a lot of gawking.

2. You don't get to live IN the forest

Most of the accommodations are private properties and they are located nowhere near the actual forest area. Only a few government resorts offer that luxury and even those aren't exactly in the dense forest. Which is understandable as the forest areas are protected and closely monitored. The animals don't come to live in our apartments so we have no right to invade in their territory either. The private resorts are too many in numbers and need no advance booking. You may want to book the government resorts well in advance as they are limited and in high demand.

This thali was the only great thing about the entire trip

3.  Don't expect to see a lot of wildlife

The tourism department will offer to take you on jungle safari which is basically a trip to the nearest watch tower way outside the jungle area where they would make you sit for one whole hour while you exhaust your stupid ass waiting to catch a glimpse of some microscopic wild life. Of all the reserve forests I found Chalsa to be the most picturesque.

The bullock cart safari at Gorumara was a total scam

4. Be very careful while exploring the areas under Kalimpong

I don't wish to sound like a racist ass but it's a tried and tested fact that people of a certain race exclusively found in the districts of Darjeeling and Kalimpong are famous for their corrupted nature. If you plan to explore places like Santalkhola or Jaldhaka on your own then be ready to bump into a bunch of people in the area who will stop your car and extort money citing fuckall reasons. In some areas they won't even let you go in your own vehicle. And the funny thing is, most of these people aren't even legal citizens of India. They are from a certain neighbour country now dominated by commies. Still feeling like savouring the 'sweet'? Keep reading.


5. Dooars is not safe for solo woman traveller

This point is sort of redundant given the previous ones. Do not even think of taking a trip to Dooars on your own if you have a vagina. You might get into a lot of trouble.


6. Beware of elephants

Dooars is famous for elephants and their whimsical dispositions. You will see warning signs almost everywhere and they are there for a reason. The elephants often come into the villages and wreak havoc. Mostly they come looking for a local country liquour known as handiya. Handiya is a rice beer that the locals cook a lot at home. It has a strong smell that attracts the party loving pachyderms and they end up raiding the villages. So don't go anywhere on your own especially after sunset. On our first day we happened to visit a tribal village the elephants had just crossed. We were immensely fortunate to see them from a distance and at the same time not get squashed on our way.

The Murti river

7. You wouldn't miss shit if you never visited Dooars

Life is short. Most of us do not have rich daddies with toilet cisterns full of black money. So use your time and resources wisely. Visit Uttarakhand. Visit Ranthambhor. Please do give the 'sweetest part of India' a miss.

Best time to visit: From October till February. Summer months are excruciating hot. Jungle remains closed during monsoon as it is the mating season.

Nearest Airport: Bagdogra

Nearest railway station: New Jalpaiguri, Malbazar